Church-Scout partnership still strong

Perhaps the partnership aspect of Boy Scouts of America and the Church - and the strength of that partnership - is best exemplified at the national level, where Church general leaders work in harmony with full-time Scout executives to develop and maintain programs that benefit the lives of millions of young men and boys nationwide.

During Feb. 7-10, members of the general Young Men and Primary presidencies attended, as they do twice each year, national committee and executive board meetings at BSA headquarters here. In addition, a number of other Church members are involved in national policy and program matters as members of various national committees."I think it's good for people in the Church to know how involved our leaders are with Boy Scouts of America," noted Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy, Young Men general president and chairman of the Church Scouting Committee, who sits on the BSA National Executive board and Religious Relationships and Relationships/Marketing committees.

Elder Goaslind serves in his Scouting capacities under the direction of the First Presidency. President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, is a member of the BSA National Executive Board and International Committee, and of the World Organization of Scouting.

"This involvement benefits both the Church and Scouting," explained Elder Goaslind. "It's meaningful because we are able to provide input into policy decisions and work together with BSA to bless the lives of young men, members as well as those associated with other denominations or groups.

"The Church continues to be firmly supportive of Boy Scouts of America. We endorse the national Friends of Scouting fund-raising effort and encourage members to continue voluntary contributions as they are able. We are grateful for our association with the program and the leaders - on the national and local levels - who stand firmly behind the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. Boy Scouts of America is remaining firm in its stand about moral cleanliness and duty to God; it is not weakening."

Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president, is a member of the general Church Scouting Committee and sits on the BSA National Advisory Council and Cub Scout committee. She also spoke of the partnership concept following the recent national meetings:

"I am grateful that Boy Scouts of America wants its programs to meet the needs of its sponsoring organizations, including the Church, and so their leaders listen to its sponsors. It's satisfying to have our voices heard, along with those of other sponsoring institutions.

"In this day, many in our society are concerned about perpetuating traditional family values when they see the problems our youth are having with gangs and drugs, violence and immorality. I am thankful to have tools such as Scouting that we can use to help teach boys worthwhile character traits and help them develop skills and self-esteem, all while having fun."

Besides President Monson, Elder Goaslind and Sister Grassli, other general Church leaders who are members of national Scouting committees include Elder Stephen D. Nadauld of the Seventy, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency - National Advisory Council, Varsity Scout and Relationships/Marketing committees; Elder Vaughn J Featherstone of the Seventy, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency - National Advisory Council, Court of Honor and Relationships/Marketing committees; Betty Jo N. Jepsen, first counselor in the Primary general presidency - Boy Scout Committee; Ruth B. Wright, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, Cub Scout Committee.

In addition, Elders Robert L. Backman and Marion D. Hanks, Emeritus General Authorities, are involved on national and international Scouting committees.


LDS youth, leaders registered in Scouting

Total boys and young men: 380,724

Adult leaders: 153,300

Total units: 26,605

CUB SCOUTS: 132,175

Cub packs: 7,483

BOY SCOUTS: 142,322

Scout troops: 8,148


Varsity teams: 5,948


Explorer posts: 5,026

BSA religious awards presented to LDS Scouts and leaders in 1993:

Faith in God (Cub Scouts): 20,924

On My Honor (Boy Scouts): 13,801

Adult On My Honor (Leaders): 3,648

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